Antigone in Ferguson is a groundbreaking project that fuses dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of Sophocles’ Antigone with live choral music performed by a diverse choir, from St. Louis, Missouri and New York City culminating in powerful, healing discussions about racialized violence, police brutality, systemic oppression, gender-based violence, health inequality, and social justice. The project was conceived in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014, through a collaboration between Theater of War Productions and community members from Ferguson, MO, and premiered at Normandy High School, Michael Brown’s alma mater, in September of 2016, and has since toured the country and the world.
In light of the uprising and protests catalyzed by the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Dion Johnson, and many others; and the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on black and brown communities, Antigone in Ferguson aims to generate dialogue, consciousness, compassion, outrage, understanding, and positive action at this critical moment. This special presentation of Antigone in Ferguson on Zoom will foreground the perspectives of people in Baltimore, Maryland whose lives have been impacted by police brutality, community violence, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-presented by Theater of War Productions, Harvard University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Pomona College, Smith College, Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, Emory University, and University of Cincinnati,
This event will engage students, and is open to the public.
About the play
Antigone by Sophocles
Sophocles’ Antigone is an ancient play about a teenage girl who wishes to bury her brother, Polyneices, who recently died in a brutal civil war. Creon, the new, untested king, has ruled that Polyneices’ body must remain above the earth, and that anyone who breaks this law will be put to death. Antigone openly and intentionally defies his edict, covering her brother’s body with dirt and publicly declaring her allegiance to a higher law, one that transcends that of the state—the law of love. Creon is then forced, by his own political rhetoric, and the by fragile social order that he has barely begun to establish since the civil war, to make an example of his niece, by sentencing her to death. In the process of following through with his own decree, Creon loses everything. At its core, Antigone is a play about what happens when personal conviction and state law clash, raising the question: When everyone is right (or feels justified), how do we avert the violence that will inevitably take place?
PandemicPoetry for the Pandemic
Using poetry as a catalyst for an Intergenerational performance and discussion during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Caregiving & DeathEnd of Life
End of Life presents readings of ancient Greek plays in public settings and medical communities as a catalyst for facilitated discussions about challenges faced by patients, families, and health professionals today around end of life care. This unique, participatory event is intended to promote powerful, open discussion among diverse communities - public and professional - fostering compassion, cooperation, and understanding about living with chronic suffering and the mortality we all share.
Political ViolenceActs of Violence
Acts of Violence presents scenes from Seneca's Thyestes, a Roman tragedy that was written during the gruesome reign of Nero, as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the impact of political violence upon individuals, families, caregivers, health and human rights advocates, communities, and nations.